Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pirate Teeth: An Adventure in Tooth-Whitening

So recently we put black charcoal on our teeth so they'd be whiter. 

This Pinterest project was a bit of a departure for us. It was messy, kinda vain, and also seemed like a bit of a gamble. 

The pin I read said that putting a capsule of activated charcoal on your teeth and scrubbing for five minutes produced whiter teeth. Apparently activated charcoal is a main ingredient in a lot of whitening products, and this is just the straight stuff. Activated charcoal is God for way more than just that and is something to take when you swallow poison (you know, all the times THAT happens...) and I believe it has health benefits when taken internally. 

So I ordered a bottle that contained 100 capsules from Amazon, which I found to be about $4 cheaper online. 

When it arrived, I first took a picture with it. Now I'm not going to lie, the lighting in the bathroom made my teeth look much more yellow than they actually are, so you're going to have to pretend that they really look mostly normal but not totally white. I'm not a coffee drinker and tend to drink things through a straw, so I wasn't expecting dramatic stains to be lifted. I do, however, have teeth with funny little white spots on them that drive me crazy. They've been that way since I was little and I had a dentist tell me once that it meant I had lots of "hidden fevers" but I don't know what that means or if it's true. So I was hoping to make the white spots less obvious. I'd read that your teeth felt much cleaner too, so I was looking forward to that. I have a bottom retainer and flossing around it is difficult, so I was hoping that the charcoal would make that area cleaner, if it indeed had the ability to break down plaque and things that I can't reach with floss. 

Following directions, I wet my toothbrush, opened a capsule, and sprinkled charcoal on it. There's a lot of powder inside a capsule, so I didn't use all of it. 

Then I brushed for five minutes. Every so often, I'd need to spit (the sink has never looked worse) so I'd load more charcoal onto my toothbrush. It didn't have a taste, but it felt crunchy. It also gave me very impressive teeth -- I felt like I could have been an extra in any pirate movie. 

When I finished, I rinsed the charcoal off myself and the sink, where it disappeared immediately and didn't stain anything (I was afraid that I would have black lips for awhile and I didn't). Then I brushed with toothpaste because there was a little residue in the crevices.

Carson tried it next.

One post said to use it several days in a row for the best results, so I did. Once a day, I'd brush with charcoal. I noticed a difference after the first time, although it wasn't dramatic. I could feel that the area where my bottom retainer was was a lot cleaner, so the charcoal definitely ate that up. I also noticed that it made my teeth look slightly more gappy because it ate away at some gross plaque that's been living there. And they were whiter. Not blinding white, but certainly noticeably to me. Carson only tried this once (it was a week where we were busy and he didn't want to add one more thing before bed) but I noticed a difference with him too... He's got the coffee stains and things that would likely show a dramatic improvement with a little more charcoal scrubbing. 

The verdict: try it! It's way cheaper than whitening strips and won't hurt you to try. It gives you crazy pirate teeth too, so that's fun for five minutes. I've also read about people who used this often and believe that it helps prevent cavities, which I believe because of how it ate away at plaque. So... Try it and share your crazy pirate pictures!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Glitter Earring DIY

I've seen these glittery earrings on Nordstrom's website a number of times, and I know they sell out quickly. I don't love spending a lot of money on earrings, so I've never tried to catch these while they're in stock, but I still liked how they look. 

So... while Jillian was visiting I suggested a quick project. I'd had a freezer paper project in mind, but with the short time frame of the visit and the fact that we were going to have two little girls who need attention, we opted for this instead. I bought a pack of six earrings from Wal-Mart for $4.88, which was already a better price than the beautiful Kate Spade ones. I had a bottle of ELF Chic Confetti nail polish that I thought would be perfect. Here it is after one coat (the ones I covered were purple, pink, yellow and blue, and I left the black and clear ones) because I forgot to get a before.

And here's the after!  Since these were cheap earrings, I covered the posts and backs in clear nail polish so hopefully they don't turn our ears green. 

Aaaaand I got a little glitter happy and did more pairs of already existing earrings. Here's another pair I did later, which I liked better and which I worked harder on to get a decent picture.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Little Visit, Little People

Apparently it takes a brave parent to road trip alone with small children. That's what I hear anyway, and I believe it. It's a moving vehicle full of unpredictability, and Jillian and her girls conquered it recently. They drove a long way for a short visit, but we loved our time with them.

They arrived before dinner with two girls who were VERY glad to be out of the car, and one mother who was happier to be out of the car than anyone else could have been. She's a trooper. 

Graceanna quickly recalled her friendship with "Mista Ca-sun" and goaded him into reading our collection of children's books.  

Wren helped me get dinner ready while her momma was taking a relaxing shower. Note the shirt.

Graceanna had cucumbers for the first time and called them pickles. The rest of us had a new recipe that tasted fine but was terribly ugly. Jillian is a queen of both tasty and beautiful food, so my incredibly humble presentation disappointed me. 

We had an early evening since everyone was tired and I had to work early. When I got home the next day, things were a little chaotic, but they started to slow down when both girls went down for naps.

I'm glad I got a picture of Wren sleeping because it only lasted 15 minutes. Gracie didn't sleep at all. 

Napless but brave (or stupid, we would soon find out), Jillian and I decided to proceed with the plan of getting ready and leaving the house, figuring that if things went south, we could come home again no problem. 

We went to the used bookstore first. Everyone loved it, except maybe the staff who I'm sure had to re-reshelve the books I probably grossly misplaced when reading to Gracie. 

We hit the very thrilling Wal-Mart next because we were obviously all about shopping and exploring local on this trip. Had to take a selfie on the car ride out of the parking lot. 

Our third stop was going to be a park, but since we were sweating from just the walk from the car to the store, we decided to opt for the air conditioning of a Chic-fil-a play place. That didn't happen either because Graceanna read herself to sleep.

Jillian and I drove around since both girls had fallen asleep and we wanted to keep them sleeping for as long as possible. We headed home when Wren lost her mind in hunger. Graceanna continued to sleep until 6.

We knew it would be a late night, so dinner and everything else was late. I made a much better-presented Chicken Cordon Bleu which everyone except Graceanna enjoyed. 
We'd planned to put the girls to bed and then let Carson stay with them while we went out and talked, but the late naps changed things. Carson grabbed Pizooki for us and our night instead included a movie, a toddler pedicure, reading books, jumping on our mini trampoline, takeout dessert on the couch, and bottle feeding a baby. We didn't get the hours of conversation I'd hoped for, but the alternative was pretty good too.  

Graceanna got fig cookies and a tiny handful of chocolate chips, but she enjoyed it with more gusto than we had for our (much tastier, sorry G) desserts. 

The next morning was going to start pretty early but plans changed, so we got a late start. We hit the splash pad at Cascades Park and Gracie loved it. She was a bit apprehensive at first, but by the end she was soaking went and having a blast.

We met her twin!

And another selfie for the books.

I sat in the car with the girls while Jillian gathered the rest of their things, and we FaceTimed with Emily and baby Tirzah. We wish they could have been here!

One last hug from baby Wren, and they were back on the road. Love my "nieces" and my "sister" and I'm thankful that it's now a shorter trip, but I wish these weekends together happened much more often!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Thomasville Weekending

One recent Saturday, Carson and I needed something to do. We thought about the beach, but all the driving didn't really appeal, so we got in the car intending to run some errands, and then just made it up from there. Before we left, Carson did what he's been doing lately and sorted and sold some of his books. You probably wouldn't be able to tell if you went into our house, but he's been getting rid of his boxes upon boxes of books.

We've seen commercials for downtown Thomasville, Georgia, since we moved here, but sort of thought that it was just a bunch of hype. For whatever reason though, we decided to drive the thirty miles and see for ourselves. It was bigger than we expected, with pretty old buildings and a downtown shopping/restaurant district that was much larger than the one in my hometown and much better than the downtown Tallahassee boasts.

I accidentally pressed the black and white option on my phone camera, but I like how it turned out. I wouldn't have cut the top of this building out, but the sun was in my eyes and I didn't know what I was doing. 

The CUTEST bookstore ever. 

We see commercials for this big discount furniture store all the time and passed it on our way back from Thomasville, so I asked Carson if we could stop in. We don't really need any furniture, so it wasn't for us at all, but I like browsing furniture stores; it's kind of like IKEA. We did have a few salespeople come up to us, but for the most part we were left alone. It was fun to talk about furniture we'd like to have one day and seeing what we both like, even though we weren't in the market for anything.
Here we are testing out a couch. 

Back in Tallahassee, we decided to use a Groupon we had for Po' Boys. It's right down Pensacola Street, within walking distance of the stadium in a very college-y part of town. 

Carson had gator (for the first time!) and I had shrimp. 

That evening, we caught up on Downton Abbey while I worked on embroidering something. I have a post about it that will have to wait until I get this in the mail.

All in all, a full weekend! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

June and July

Life has been busy, and my computer is kind of a hassle to use these days, so getting onto it to blog isn't my first priority. Right now I'm writing from my phone, so we shall see how this goes. 

I have a couple of posts I'll actually get on to said computer to write, and I think I'll likely backdate some of them so that things are in order, but for the time being, here's just a random post with bits and pieces of life. 

Let's also hope that things are spelled okay. I've noticed autocorrect isn't always 100% and neither am I.

We'll start off with something that isn't lighthearted. June 11 was the third anniversary of my first miscarriage. I expected the day to be harder than it actually was, but I was mostly reminded of how good the Lord has been in it all. I read this article sort of coincidentally, and it ministered to me so much. Read that right here: http://shereadstruth.com/2015/06/11/rachel/

We will move right on to lighthearted: these mustache cutouts were in the bottom of a frozen pizza box we got, and Carson was a good sport for me :)

We went to the beach! Ran into some friends from Tallahassee and got to meet their cute Boston Terrier who was afraid of the waves. It was a pretty day and we went to a new beach that gave us lots of good people watching opportunities.

I went bowling as a work outing, an activity I'm surprised that I actually signed up for and dreaded until the day arrived. My team wasn't the best, but I was pleased to find out that I wasn't the worst out of the whole group, and that no one seemed to care about the score. 

We made pineapple dole whip floats like the ones in Disney World and they were delicious. I've also discovered that I really like drinking pineapple juice out of the can. Pineapple has a lot of digestive benefits (Carson says) and although I'm not sure how good it is for your teeth (it feels so acidic), I'm really liking it!

Fourth of July was spent in Tallahassee. We went to Ocala last year, so this was our first, and we weren't really sure what it was going to be like here. 

We met up with friends from C's program for a picnic at Tom
Brown Park, where the big town celebration and fireworks was going on. It was a good time to hang out with them and we shared our food with the ants.

Overall though, it was a little disappointing. We had a good time, but I didn't really feel like the Capitol city did a great job with the holiday. The fireworks weren't impressive - they didn't go up very high and they lit off of the same types, one after the other and it was more boring than impressive and patriotic. Also, when we chose our picnic spot, we decided to face the big open area where there weren't trees because logically you'd set them off in the spot where people can view them, right? Wrong. We saw fireworks from behind a tree. But it wouldn't have been impressive either way. We will try to make better plans next year!

Hello, unflattering photo! We got a mini trampoline with an anniversary gift card from the Bays, and I'm loving it. I've always loved trampolines, and now I have one inside! I doubt it's the most awesome calorie burner ever but it is a good way to get a little extra cardio in there every day without killing my knees (the jumping hurts way less than running). A win. 
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